Our attempt on The Grim Challenge for CANCER RESEARCH UK using a more extreme variant Nordic Walking is going pretty well. Sure we’d like to see more sponsors and donations, but it’s early days and we’re both training to make sure we don’t let anyone down.
I’ve added a method to make donating really easy now. You just need to use your mobile phone and text STIX99 and a donation amount (£1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10) to 70070.
Meanwhile, along with cardio and endurance training, I’ve thrown together a little video to promote our challenge. It’s only a first attempt and I plan to make another (more?) as time goes on.
It is for Cancer Research UK, although they support the worldwide fight against cancer and are simply based in the UK, so to everyone out there, where ever you are, please do donate and share this page. It’s for a very good cause after all.
As a challenge to get me fit again after injuries (ankle, back, and recently cellulitis in the elbow – yay me!), me and my physical trainer cousin Wendy are going to be taking part in the Grim Challenge at the very end of November.
The Woo: Tougher than the Grim Challenge itself.
The Return of the Black: What doesn’t kill me better be able to outrun me…
Dirt, rocky roads, gravel, mud, man made mounds, obstacles, water holes, more mud, more hills, ditches, more muddy wet holes… 8 miles of tough challenge. She’s not used to the Nordic style which I really enjoy, and I’m not used to straight running… Hopefully we’ll learn the right things from each other…
We’re doing it for Cancer Research UK, and just to make it interesting we thought we’d attempt to do it using Nordic X-country poles.
Like it wasn’t going to be tough enough in the first place…
The thing is, the Grim is technically a run, although some folk do end up walking as it is a very tough course. We didn’t know if actually starting out ‘walking‘ was going to be a problem (albeit Nordic Walking, which is a different ball park to hiking or normal walking – especially how I do it…).
The organiser is not in favour of people who turn up just to walk the route… but in the organiser’s own words when I suggested about us using Nordic X-Country poles: “… I know all about Nordic walking and suspect you guys are not the strolling type!”
Almost immediately after I started getting into this keeping healthy lark I ended up with a work related (badly) screwed back, which I used Nordic Walking to recover from… only to then get hit by a severe infection (leaving me asthmatic on top of the lung problems I already have) and the feral cat attack (through which I met John Devaney…. bloody cat).
Each set back just makes me want to come back harder, but each time I find it physically tougher, although that won’t stop me trying… Next step, KICKBOXING!!!!
I already go to a boxing class run by SMA, where the positive attitude of everyone really helps push me. I’ve never been good at fast, hard training (lungs again…), but if I am to fix that problem (and the dodgy wrist left over from the feral attack), then this class is really a kill or cure. It’s a tough class, no word of a lie!
I’m now going to go to the kickboxing class that SMA run. This should help me with stability, coordination and even more fitness/health issues… Kill or Cure, Kill or Cure!
I will be ready to take on that Arctic Survival for my 40th….
So regulars will know I am looking into taking my Nordic Walking to the next level.
Nordic skiing on snow in the UK is a bit tricky, mainly due to the general lack of snow, but you can buy roller-ski’s that emulate the same characteristics of the various types of skiing.
Now, before I go off and buy a set I want to make sure I can get on with roller ski’s, so I contacted a UK based Nordic/Cross Country ski organisation: Rollerski, where I spoke to Iain Ballentine, who in turn pointed me to the London Region Nordic Ski Club and a chap called Paddy Fields (the Chairman).
It turns that Paddy Fields lives in the next toen to me, they practice weekly in my town, and they used to practice around the lake where I do my Nordic walking, so he knows exactly the terrain I’ll be skiing on.
Funny how these things work out.
I’ll be meeting up with him soon to give roller skiing a go, and then seeing where that leads (to more skiing I hope… or hospital!).
Not a great deal to blog about at the moment…well, lots of “bitsy” stuff.
Firstly, I shall take this blogatunity to wish Jon Kane a very happy birthday. A great chap who among other things has opened up a few more computing and net options to me – all giddyingly exciting stuff! (honest!). His blog can be found in my links to the left (his blog is called “Writersbloc”).
Why is there not much going on? Well it’s my back. Getting better in leaps and bounds (not actual leaps and bounds, as that would really hurt still!). The main problem is sitting and twisting. I have reduced upper mobility and am not able to drive – even if I could sit long enough! As it is, I can passenger in a car (with only slight pain) for about the same distance I can easily walk… so I walk (much better for me and Mother Earth!).
The Leki “Speed Pacer Vario” Nordic poles are getting a fair bit of mileage, and it’s getting me in shape. If ever I get a serious injury or illness, I do my best during and post recovery to make sure it doesn’t happen again. In the case of my back, as it gets better I shall do all I can to make it better than before because I don’t want to be in this situation again.
The side effects of the bad back have been benefical – although the same results would have been obtained without a bad back! The physio and Nordic Walking are giving me cardio and fat burning exercise which has resulted in me reducing my waist line by an easy 5 inches! Yup, that much!
Over 10kg lighter and getting trimmer to go along with that weight loss – at least that’s a good thing! It’s also less weight for my back to carry – hurrah! That’s what I mean about being better than before: I am strengthening my back, but also reducing load on it. I’m not going to have this injury happen again.
I’m glad the lake is so near though, as a good view really helps with making a long walk that bit more enjoyable.
It may have been a blog entry of bits and pieces, but it does come around on itself…. You see Jon introduced me to WordPress as a blog host, and also pointed me at Twitter. He also gave Will King some internettery ideas (www.shaveforum.com), of which I play a part (I admin and/or moderate a few web spaces in my spare time). I met Will through sharing feedback about his Azor – which in turn lead to me being introduced to Jon. The King of Shaves site and my new blog home, along with my need for a new phone, lead me to the iPhone (good for web admin and blogging on the go). The iPhone in turn has kept me relativly sane during my recovery as I can use it without having to sit at a computer (I am horizontal as I write this!).. General surfing lead me to Green Tea which has been very benefical, and it also lead me to Nordic Walking and more sanity saving freedom with the ability to go for a walk…and in turn getting my blog followers 10% discount at “The Tortoise and the Hare” sports store (see top left for details).
So it’s all interlinked in a gumbo of bits and bobs. All things that if they hadn’t of happened would have me not blogging, not walking, and going insane with lack of mobility and some form of mental and physical respite from my bad back!
It’s a strange wave we surf when the butterfly flaps its wings…
We went out for a family walk today. I was on my Nordic Poles and Chris had the push chair for Alex.
We took in Starve Hill airstrip (Hawley airstrip), the car bin and exercise house out the back end of Gibraltar barracks. It was a slow walk, but we covered 10km, and Alex walked a great deal of that.
As usual, puddles were top priority for Alex. Some puddles caught him off guard as they were deeper than he was expecting! Boots and waterproof trousers held up well for him though… Luckily!
As we passed the lake on the way back home, we saw the Army out on the water practicing with pontoon boats, or at least that’s what they looked like. Whatever they were, they sounded like they had powerful motors.